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The Virgin Suicides

November 28, 2007

Laura’s Blog Entry

Months and months ago while browsing the Tivo channel guide, I saw that the movie The Virgin Suicides was going to be on. I had never seen it, so I DVR-ed it. It sat around until a couple weeks ago.

I had no idea what it was about, who directed it, or who was in it – other than Kirsten Dunst. But wow, did this film affect me! That is a rare occurrence these days. I have quit going to movies at the theater because I just feel like nothing is ever worth the money any more.

Here’s why this one got to me. First of all, I grew up in the 70’s, the time period in which the movie is set. Watching this film was a mulit-sensory experience. I could practically feel the scratchy-looking upholstery. Visually it brought back lots of stuff I thought I had left behind. All the music stirred up really vivid memories as well. Top 40 radio was king back then. The movie is full of 70’s jems, like “Magic Man” by Heart, “I’m not In Love” by 10cc and the ever-popular last dance of the night “Come Sail Away” by Styx. Plus the original score by the band Air was brilliantly done.

Once the movie started, I really thought the story was going in a certain direction. It centers around a family that has 5 teenage daughters. But it is told through the narration of a boy in their neighborhood. I thought that this boy and his friends were typical teen boys – obnoxious, horny and not to be trusted. (I don’t think I revealed any of my baggage just then, did I?) But the story was engaging and the script so interesting and quirky I kept watching.

And as I watched, I found myself totally relating to the youngest daughter. You think you have gotten over stuff; you think it is over and done. Then, what do you know, the next second you are sobbing all over you knitting in the middle of the day.

What really, really got me about this movie is that the boys turned out to be so much more than I expected them to be. More than they expected to be, truthfully. I won’t give away the details of the story in case you are interested seeing it. Maybe it will take you on the same emotional rollercoaster I went on.

It was masterfully filmed, directed, and acted. Along with Kirsten Dunst, the cast includes James Woods, Kathleen Turner, Danny Devito, Josh Harnett (in a really bad 70’s wig), Scott Glenn, and many others.

This movie has stuck with me and made me think about lots of things the last few weeks. Like what kind of adolescence do I want my child to have? What do I have to do now to make that happen? What have I (thankfully) already been doing? What kind of relationship do we need to have to make it all work?

The biggest question of all has been: How did I get from where I was then to where I am now? I feel very torn between not relating to who I was then, while on the other hand feeling like I am still right there. I felt split like that for a few days.

Can’t say I want an experience like that too often, but I am actually grateful for it. It’s like that perspective you get when you stand up, step back and look down at something from above and can finally see what has been happening all along.

Thanks, Sofia Coppola.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2007 3:33 pm

    I remember hearing about this movie but didn’t ever know much about it. It sounds really throught-provoking, and I’ll add it to our online Blockbuster list. 🙂

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